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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  January 19, 2012 4:00pm-5:00pm PST

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governor, we all particularly those of us that have run for president, we've all made our gaffes and all of us have done things we wish we hadn't done. but we learn to do a lile more than that. but you did leave us with a joke. you actually said today that newt gingrich could transform the country. if you believe that, do me a favor. become his spokesperson. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. turns out romney didn't win iowa. may not win south carolina. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews. in philadelphia, leading off tonight, the final 48 hours. what an incredible second to last day before the south carolina primary. let's run through the news.
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rick perry dropped out and endorsed newt gingrich. a recount in iowa showed rick santorum got more votes than mitt romney. newt's second ex-wife told abc news he asked for an open marriage long after he had begun his affair with calista. newt unleashed an ad calling mitt desperate and dishonest, and newt has passed mitt in several polls in south carolina. we'll put it all together at the top of the show. plus, has mitt's air of inevitablity gotten thin? rick perry supporters are likely to go to newt. his shares at bain capital pay hurt him. and mitt can't get out of his own way when it comes to talking about taxes and his own wealth. if mitt didn't win iowa and doesn't win south carolina, he will not be 3-0, but 1-2. also a new poll shows how much trouble president obama may have with independent voters who aren't sold on the republicans either. that may explain why the
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president is up with his first ad of the campaign. and we mentioned that newt gingrich's second ex-wife said he wanted an open marriage. the ex-wife of mark sanford joins us tonight. she says she's lived this story and it will count politically. finally, let me finish with an unpleasant reminder. while mitt romney may be headed for 1 for 3 in the political arena that newt gingrich is already in the clubhouse with his 1 for 3 in the marital arena. we start with the final 48 hours. with me is mark halperin and john, both msnbc political analysts. let's look at numbers.ghng chance to carry south calina. new numbers out today from the nbc news/marist poll show republicans have mitt romney ahead of the pack. but the two-day poll show a rise for newt gingrich following his debate monday night. before the debate on monday,
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romney led by 15 points. but after the debate on tuesday, that lead shrank to just 5 points. a ten-point net gain for newt in just one day. in addition to those results, four other polls considered to be somewhat less reliable show gingrich leading romney in south carolina. let's start with mark. how do you read the situation that's beginning to move right now? >> this primary is up for grabs. either romney or gingrich could win it. we've always talked about romney having a ceiling. just a few weeks ago, gingrich was way up in this state. he whiplashed back and forth. we have a lot of moving parts. romney has to figure out what he didn't know in the last south carolina debate, which is crowd matters in south carolina. they don't sit on their hands or hold applause. if romney has as weak a debate and gingrich has as strong, i think gingrich has a very good chance to win this primary and shake the race up.
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>> let's talk about the psychology and performance values tonight. john, i have had a hard time watching the debates to see any candidate put in a consistent streak of performance. is newt going to do it again? this is the first time somebody does it again. does it well monday and comes back and does it well thursday. will he be intimidated out of being just as tough? >> i don't think he will be intimidated. there's not a lot that intimidates newt gingrich. the greater risk is overreach. that debate for him on myrtle beach on monday night was as big a success as any republican candidate has had so far. gingrich was perfectly well suited to the crowd. romney had one of his worst debates, if not his worst debate. there's no question newt gingrich knows he must have a big night again. the pressure is on him. as with a lot of athletes, when the pressure is on, a lot of them sometimes going for the big
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hit, going for throwing the long ball, they overreach and make mistakes because they actually try too hard and their adrenaline is pumping a little too hot. that's obviously totally speculative. the pressure is going to be intensely on romney because he knows he has to do better than last time. both guys are going to get a chance to show in the most high-stakes debate we have seen so far what they are made of. >> here's rick perry today really making news. dropping out of the race today completely and then endorsing newt. let's watch this big double-header. >> i believe newt is a conservative visionary who can transform our country. we've had our differences, which campaigns will inevitably have. and newt is not perfect, but who among us is? the fact is, there is forgiveness for those who seek god. and i believe in the power of redemption, for it is a central
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tenet of my christian faith. i have no question that newt gingrich has the heart of a conservative reformer. the ability to rally and captivate the conservative movement, the courage to tell those washington interests to take a hike if that's what's in the best interest of our country. >> mark, he seemed more convincing there than he's been as a candidate for himself in that endorsement. >> he's a pretty good endorser. it's going to be interesting to see, he didn't have a lot of support here, but does he turn his money people in texas, can he turn them over to gingrich, not just for the campaign but for the superpac? gingrich is rising. we haven't mentioned santorum. he got the endorsement last weekend from the conservative christian leaders. they have done nothing to take advantage of that. gingrich gets the backing of sarah palin. the endorsement of rick perry. that's going to be more in the news than anything santorum has done. and it can galvanize what we said could happen, which is the
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anybody but romney, the romney alternative vote could easily go to gingrich in a way that would allow him to win this primary. perry was eloquent and there's a lot of message that gingrich people will pick up. if not from gingrich himself, from surrogates. >> as you say, here's newt gingrich putting his money where his mouth is in a campaign ad that goes after romney. with the help of some of mitt's former rivals. let's watch. >> why is mitt romney attacking newt gingrich? ask john mccain. >> the best indicator i'm doing very well is when you're attacked by romney. >> mitt romney has a history of false attacks and negative campaigning. ask mike huckabee. >> mitt romney is running a desperate and dishonest campaign. >> mitt romney will do and say anything to become president. anything. maybe that explains all his flip-flops. >> i don't know how to respond to some of it because his position may change tomorrow. >> let me ask you, john, about the question of whether this
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stops romney one way or the other. it's hard to believe come saturday night when we report this thing coming out of south carolina that a couple of votes are going to decide who the nominee is. if romney's in a tight fight on saturday night, if he barely squeaks down in south carolina, will he still be in trouble even if he technically wins? >> i don't think he'll be in much trouble at all. the iowa thing is a little bit of a setback for him. santorum having been determined to have won iowa. if mitt romney wins new hampshire, and then wins south carolina, even if he wins it close, he goes into florida with enormous advantages. there's almost no one i know in republican politics who thinks that mitt romney will lose florida. even if gingrich wins south carolina, it's going to be very steep hill for gingrich to climb. romney's got so much money, so much organization in florida which is a big state with a lot of media markets. you can't do that on the cheap. romney is well positioned to win florida. in that case, winning south carolina and florida, he's still then on a glide path to the nomination.
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if he loses here on saturday, if gingrich wins on saturday, it not only sets up a dog fight in florida where gingrich might get a lot of money that floods in and allows him to take the fight down there, but also it instills a lot of doubt in the republican establishment. they look at romney and say he's 1-2 and also in the course of the last week, he's committed so many unforced errors on the question of his money, on taxes, on the question of his net worth, the cayman islands, all that stuff. people are starting to wonder, is this really a guy we want to have as our standard bearer going forward that's going to be this damaged? can he really take the fight to barack obama in the fall? >> i wonder if that will be the question no matter how close it is, even if it comes out in romney's favor on saturday night. isn't the republican party a tea party party now? aren't most republicans pretty conservative and don't most republicans see romney as
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basically at heart a moderate? >> well, i love john heileman, but i disagree with two of the things he said. if gingrich spins it correctly, a close second could be enough. and i think if he does win here, or even spins a close second, i if santorum gets out, i think he could win florida. in part because it is a tea party now. in part because there is -- the reason romney has something of a ceiling is because the party has shifted in a way where the establishment doesn't control absolutely. the tea party matters. the florida contest is going to be a lot of conservative republicans voting, and gingrich is well known there. and again, just a few weeks ago, gingrich had an overwhelming lead in florida. so there's a large number of people who at least one point in the not too distant past were willing to say they were for newt gingrich. if he comes out of here with a head of steam, they could be for him again.
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>> let's look at the new development. it brings up questions about gingrich. an incredible interview with abc news. his second wife reveals that newt said their marriage -- let's.her speak for herself. here's marianne gingrich, the second ex-wife of newt gingrich. >> you want me all to yourself, calista doesn't care what i do. >> what was he saying, do you think? >> he was asking to have an open marriage, and i refused. >> he wanted an open marriage? >> yeah. that i accept the fact that he has somebody else in his life. >> and you said? >> no. no. that is not a marriage. >> well, webster's dictionary describes an open marriage where both partners agree to let each other have sexual partners outside a marriage. i want to remind everybody of that old term "open marriage" from the '60s or whenever that was talked about.
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here's newt gingrich according to his ex-wife asking for such an arrangement among his wife and his mistress at the time. is this going to matter to voters? should it, john? >> the cheap jokey thing to say is that all newt gingrich's marriages have been de facto open marriages in some way, but i think some people will make that joke. i think in terms of south carolina voters, newt gingrich has been in a battle with rick santorum for evangelical voters in south carolina. what some of the polling has shown that santorum has been able to appeal better to women while gingrich has had a weakness with women. gingrich has done better among men. the question is, given that a lot of gingrich's marital problems have been factored in, there's some number of voters who are not going to vote for him for that reason.
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does this new revolution or accusation, does that move any votes? are there any people who were considering voting for gingrich where this will be the final straw? i don't know the answer to that question. it certainly doesn't help him with evangelical voters or women but does it really change that many minds? i'm dubious about that. >> i wouldn't be surprised if a lot of voters blame the media for this. for digging up the story. they won't blame anybody but the people who asked the question. we'll see. it's a strange world we live in. thank you, mark halperin and john heileman. coming up, a funny thing happened on the way to the coronation. mitt romney is having the worst week perhaps in his life and this nomination fight may not be ending any time after this. that's ahead. you know when i grow up, i'm going to own my own restaurant. i want to be a volunteer firefighter. when i grow up, i want to write a novel.
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delivers the state of the union address before a joint session of congress. on wednesday he kicks off a tour that has all the hallmarks of his first campaign swing of the year. take a look at where the president is heading. cedar rapids, iowa, before flying on to phoenix, las vegas, denver and michigan. the only state he didn't win the last time around is arizona. and states democrats now hope is winnable. we'll be right back. ge and an i♪ ♪ made sure his credit score did not go bad ♪ ♪ with a free-credit-score-dot-com ♪ ♪ app that he had ♪ downloaded it in the himalayas ♪ ♪ while meditating like a true playa ♪ ♪ now when he's surfing down in chile'a ♪ ♪ he can see when his score is in danger ♪ ♪ if you're a mobile type on the go ♪ ♪ i suggest you take a tip from my bro ♪ ♪ and download the app that lets you know ♪ ♪ at free-credit-score-dot-com now let's go. ♪ vo: offer applies with enrollment in™. my high school science teacher made me what i am today. our science teacher helped us build it. ♪
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two primaries held now. we have won one. with a big win today in iowa that's finally been certified, we feel very, very good about what this win will mean. it says that we can win elections. we can organize. we can put together an effort to pull the resources together to be able to be successful.
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being the person that can defeat mitt romney because we defeated mitt romney in iowa. >> welcome back to "hardball." today the iowa republican party gave the iowa caucuses to rick santorum, squashing mitt romney's hopes of going 3 for 3 with a win in south carolina this weekend. the party certified that santorum finished ahead by just 34 votes. because votes from eight precincts are missing, nbc news will not declare an actual winner as it's impossible to know the actual numerical results. nevertheless, romney called santorum today to congratulate him on his belated iowa numbers. how would the results have changed the momentum if we had this information before? and how will the new results change the race now? johnathan martin and dana milbank join us. let's start with the nomination momentum that looked like it was going to be three for three. as republicans like to say whose
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turn it is, it's romney's turn. now all this unsettling news today. this that iowa went for santorum. this that rick perry is out of the race. and that he's endorsing. and sarah palin is endorsing newt gingrich. how does this change everything? >> chris, to go from the spector of romney being 3-0 and locking this race up on saturday to romney potentially being 1-2 after saturday night is quite a jolt. i think this may be one of the most consequential days we have had yet on the campaign trail. the santorum news from iowa is one more piece of bad news for romney in a difficult last couple of days. i think the bigger news here is the surge of newt gingrich here in south carolina. moving into, if not a tie, something close to a tie with romney here before saturday's debate. i'm sorry, saturday's primary. if newt has a solid debate tonight and can answer questions
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about his former wife, i think he's going to be in strong shape on saturday. and that can really make florida a heck of a race on january 31st. >> dana, you and i know about mood and jonathan does, too, the mood of the voters. we have been talking about it on this show for years now. the angry mood of the voters. the screw-you attitude towards not just obama, but the government. the anger and sense of contempt. newt, despite the fact he's an old-time politician, seems to evoke that mood better than anybody right now. is that why -- you saw in the debate the other night. we'll probably see it tonight. that angry -- he almost looks like a voter. >> more than that, it's angry and it's anti-washington, which is the most extraordinary irony. rick perry is getting out of the race. the guy who wants to destroy washington. he goes out and endorses the
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most washington guy inside the race. i continue to believe i have more faith in republican voters than this. i think they ultimately will not give president obama the gift of running against newt gingrich. but you have to acknowledge that he has played this absolutely brilliantly so far. >> but romney doesn't seem to have that anger about life and democrats and obama, does he? >> and why should he? because he's had this privileged existence. every day you hear some other piece about mitt romney. he's like morphing into gordon gekko. >> jonathan, your feelings about this. the mood seems to be important to voters right now. >> the newt gingrich that south carolinian saws on that debate stage monday night that brought them to their feet at one point with his denunciation of juan williams is, i think, you are exactly right. that's the reason why newt has his third moment here. it's remarkable. he's on his third life in this campaign. and his second life politically overall.
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look, you're -- he has captured the anger of a lot of republicans in this state towards president obama, but towards washington, i think, overall. and that's why if you look at the tea party, newt is doing much better than what romney is doing. if you look at income, by income, newt is doing better among those folks who are middle income or working class than mitt does among the rich. newt has tapped into the middle class populist fury at washington and president obama. >> romney took on a man in a crowd who challenged romney about being part of that elite 1%. >> what will you do to support the 99% seeing as you are part of the 1%? >> let me tell you something. america is a great nation because we're a united nation. and those who try to divide the nation as you're trying to do here and as our president is doing are hurting the country seriously. the right course for america is
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not to divide america, it's to come together as a nation. if you have a better model, if you think china is better or russia is better or cuba or north korea is better, i'm glad to hear all about it. america's right and you're wrong. >> so if you don't like his tax policy, you are for russia's tax policy. according to the nonpartisan tax policy center, mitt romney's tax plan will help the rich more than the poor. people with incomes below $20,000 annually will have their taxes increase 60%. although the base is low, it's going up 60%. the middle class get an average tax cut of 2.2%. but those with annual incomes over a million a year will see an average tax cut of 15%. the romney tax plan would also explode the federal budget deficit adding $600 billion to the deficit in just one year. put another way, in last summer's debt ceiling agreement, they agreed to cut the deficit over ten years. romney's plan would add that amount in just two years.
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jonathan, this angry screamer he actually had to argue back with today, has a point that romney wants to make an unfair tax system more unfair. you could certainly argue. >> and i think if romney is the nominee, that's going to be the centerpiece of democrat attacks against him. personally, he exudes this gordon gekko persona and his policies. they dovetail with his persona. but i think it's interesting, chris, that romney is trying to have a moment. if you watch that confrontation, you can see romney trying to have his reagan, mr. green moment. he's trying to show toughness and conservative voters that he too is angry and is going to tell it like it is. the problem is he doesn't do it as naturally as newt does it. >> let me go over to dana. that great moment for reagan is when he said he wanted all the other candidates to speak, not
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just him and bush. it was a somewhat populist move. this isn't a populist move by romney. it's we're rich. we're going to get richer. >> the man has become this walking cliche. the problem is on the personal side, now we hear he has all this money invested in the cayman islands and comes up with this clintonian answer. i had the money there, but i didn't inhale. i wasn't using it as a tax haven. the problem is he's got all these things on the one side. the extraordinary wealth, the 15% tax rate, the refusal to release his own returns, coupled with the policy that would make people like him a whole lot wealthier. he's written the democratic ads for president obama. if he survives the primaries, as i think is still likely, he's almost mortally wounded from the things that have happened over the past couple of days. >> we can count on one thing.
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he wants to discuss tax policy, you should know this, dana in a quiet room. >> thank you jonathan and dana milbanks. bill clinton is doing what he does best. he's saying newt gingrich and mitt romney have more in common than you might think. that's on the side show. you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. wanna know the difference between a trader and an elite trader?
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neither can say what they believe to be true and get nominated. romney is still trying to figure out what he did as governor and still appeal to this driving i have vituperative energy out there." mitt romney pretends to speak their language. speaking of former presidents, jimmy carter and his wife rose lynn participated in a joint interview that aired last night. their 65-year marriage has been mostly free of rough patches. but there was one project that caused turmoil. let's listen. >> we tried to write a book together. >> what was a terrible -- >> she would give me the chapter that she wrote and it would be like god had given her this text on mt. sinai and she brought it down and presented it to me in stone and if i changed one word it was truly painful for her. >> and you've never written a book again together?
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>> never will. >> somehow, i doubt that all those 65 years of decisions were unanimous. up next, president obama is up with his first ad of the 2012 campaign. right away, he's on defense. that's ahead. tonight, i'll be joining michael in collingswood, new jersey, to talk about my new book on president john f. kennedy. we're specting about 1,000 people to hear about our beloved american hero. you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. this is mary. who has a million things to pick up each month on top of her prescriptions. thankfully, her walgreens pharmacist recommended a 3-month supply. now, mary gets 3 refills in one and for 3 months she's done. ask your pharmacist about a 90 day supply and how to save with the prescription savings club. individual memberships are just 5 dollars. enroll today. walgreens. there's a way to stay well. enroll today. i'm al ways
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i'm veronica de la cruz. champion-freestyle skier sarah burke died from injuries she sustained nine days ago. she crashed during a training run. she suffered irreversible brain damage. burke was 29 years old. a new potential witness is
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giving a different account of events on board the "costa concordia" after it struck a reef. a young woman who works for the cruise line says she was called to the ship's bridge to translate evacuation instructions. she's defending the captain of the ship saying he saved lives. so far 11 people are confirmed dead. 21 others are missing. and president obama is on the fund-raising circuit tonight. after leaving florida earlier today he attended annual event with donors at a new york restaurant. also on the schedule, a high-priced fund-raiser at the home of spike lee. later tonight he'll be at harlem's famed apollo theater for an event featuring performances by green and india.arie. now back to "hardball." tourism is the number one service that we export. number one. and that means jobs.
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more money spent by more tourists means businesses can hire more workers. it's a pretty simple formula. >> that was president obama speaking this afternoon about boosting tourism in the u.s. to create jobs. he was at disney world. home of the magic kingdom. it turned out he may need the good will, because the 2012 race is shaping up to be one of the most negative ever. today his campaign debuted their first ads of the season defending his record on energy and ethics. he has his work cut out for him. a new sebs/not "new york times" poll shows independent voters are unhappy with the job he's doing. in five days, the president will give his last state of the union address. what does he need to say? debbie wasserman schultz is the chair of the democratic national committee. thanks for joining us. congresswoman, i'm looking at the ads the president is putting on the air. i hate to say it, for his stake, they're defensive. he's defending himself against
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the huge spending by the koch brothers blasting solyndra, that energy company. is this going to be a defensive campaign? >> well, on the contrary. i think what president obama is doing and what the campaign is doing is making it very clear there's a dramatic contrast in the way president obama has handled his presidency. in terms of ethics, he has made sure we have the most stringent ethics policy in the administration that there really ever has been. he's established clearly that when it comes to money and politics, that we want to make sure that the grassroots activists have an opportunity to influence and participate in campaigns as opposed to special interests and lobbyists and federal pacs which president obama does not accept contributions from. and then when it comes to this economy, and the kind of economy we want to have, we want one that's going to promote green jobs. we want to make sure we tout his record on promoting green jobs and transitioning our economy when it comes to energy from one
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that's dependent on foreign oil as the primary source of our energy needs to alternative energy sources that don't rely on fossil fuels, which we know are finite. president obama has a remarkable record as president and we're touting it. >> let's take a look at the ad. here's the president's own ad defending it and actually advertising his policies. >> secretive oil billionaires attacking president obama with ads fact checkers say are not tethered to the facts. independent watchdogs call this president's record on ethics unprecedented. america's clean energy industry 2.7 million jobs. and expanding rapidly. for the first time in 13 years, our dependence on foreign oil is below 50%. president obama, kept his promise to toughen ethics rules and strengthen america's energy economy. >> congresswoman, this is a tough challenge for your party and for your points of view on energy and ethics. here you have the president putting $1.3 million into an ad
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campaign, and that was an example of it, up against a $6 million campaign run by the koch brothers blasting him on this issue. >> while the republicans are engaged in their circular firing squad and embracing extremism, and running as far to the right as humanly possible, president obama and our team are in the process of standing up the most dynamic, robust grassroots campaign in history. we're also at the same time not going to take lying down false accusations, mixed characterizations and distortions of the record. as a floridian, chris, i can tell you, particularly as the florida primary on the republican side approaches, i know that florida's pristine environment that is so dependent on that $65 billion tourism industry that president obama helped boost today with his we can't wait announcement on tourism that it can't rely on the dependence that we have on fossil fuels, on drilling more
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oil. we saw what happened with the bp oil spill. devastating the panhandle's tourist-based economy. we can't allow that to happen again. that's what the entire republican field would have us do. >> here's "newsweek" columnist andrew sullivan writing a strong defense of the obama administration. he points to a number of triumphs in the president's first term. quote, a depregss averted. the auto industry bailout was successful. the iraq war ended. bin laden is dead. and a pair of liberal appointments to the united states supreme court. and the question i have to ask is why doesn't the white house try to use these successes more. you have andrew sullivan out there, you saw the big cover piece in "newsweek." what a great case he makes for the historic efforts and successes of this president. is your party doing as good a job selling his record as this independent voice did? >> you know, there's always room for improvement. i think we need to continue to make sure that people understand
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that there is a dramatic contrast between the two directions we could go. after november 6th. the direction that president obama is taking us including the affordable care act, which made sure millions of americans will remain on their parent's insurance. 2.5 million young people are insured who weren't before. thanks to the affordable care act. seniors in my state and across the country have the prescription wage gap closed and beginning to close so they don't have to choose between medicine and meals. there are countless examples we'll be talking about as opposed to the direction the republicans would take us, which is to keep the wind at the backs of the people who are doing quite well. >> thank you so much. as always, u.s. congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz, chairman of the democratic national committee. let's go to ron reagan. it's great to have you on. again, i go back to the question. it seems like that independent voice out there, andrew sullivan has been a rock 'em sock 'em job of pointing out the historic
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advances of this president in a way that even the white house hasn't been able to do. >> yeah. it's true. they need to do a better job of that. as you ran down that list, i was struck things for people on the left and things on the right. so it's a broad list of accomplishments there. but back to the $6 million that the koch brothers are going to drop on obama's head accusing him of being a gangster-style president running a pay to play government. let's forget the irony of the koch brothers being angry at somebody for subsidizing energy. the government has been subsidizing them for a long time. here's my question. if this is true of president obama, if he's running a pay to play government, why are you spending all this money on ads? why don't you just pay him? because apparently he'd do whatever you asked him to do. but i guess it doesn't quite work that way. >> the concern i have, and this is as a citizen and somebody who cares about policies, if you could drop millions and millions
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of dollars in an anonymous ad, basically like -- and destroy somebody on one particular thing he may be completely innocent on but you've picked it out and there's no limit to how many you can saturate the country with these ads. >> that's right. we are in the post -- >> we're in the post citizens united era here. millions and millions of dollars will be dumped on obama and other people. obama has to respond to this. i think he has to do it proactively and not just be responding to negative ads. >> how do you respond to people shooting at you from every direction? that's my concern. and like, you know, you defend yourself on one front. then they hit another front. how much money can the president raise is the question? can he raise enough to offset to play defense? >> he raised an awful lot last time. didn't he? i think he's doing pretty well in the money race. he has to start running his own ads and start countering this stuff. middle of the country that's all these people are going to see
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are the koch brother ads. >> it's a bitter war going on right now. >> it's going to get ugly. >> coming up, two days before south carolina and the primary is saturday, jeannine sanford, the first lady of that state is coming here next. she has thoughts about how the interview went with newt gingrich's second wife. and how it's going to play politically in south carolina. this is "hardball" on msnbc. e pd investing tools of wall street and make them simple, intuitive, and available to all. distill all that data. make information instinctual, visual. introducing trade architect, td ameritrade's empowering web-based trading platform. take control of your portfolio today. trade commission-free for 60 days, and we'll throw in up $600 when you open an account. trade commission-free for 60 days, i've tried it. but nothing helped me beat my back pain. then i tried salonpas. it's powerful relief that works at the site of pain and lasts up to 12 hours.
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salonpas. we've talked throughout this campaign about the two sides of the republican party. what i like to call the eastern conference versus the western conference. and with perry's exit today, there are four candidates left. rick santorum and ron paul are running out of the western conference. they are the outsiders. perry, bachmann and cain are all out. out of the eastern conference, it's romney
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now check out the other guy's flake. hello, no seam. because it's more processed. now, which do you suppose has better nutrition for you? mmm. great grains. the whole whole grain cereal. two days to go before the south carolina primary. today newt gingrich's second wife marianne broke her 13-year silence about their marriage revealing that newt gingrich asked her for what she called an open marriage arrangement so he could see other women. joining me is someone who has lived through a similar situation and who has firsthand knowledge about south carolina politics. ja 19sanford, the former first lady of the state who also managed her former husband's campaigns and also was the author of the book "staying true." mrs. sanford, thanks for joining us tonight.
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i guess i have to use you tonight as a political pundit if you will. how do you see that race going down there on saturday? >> you know, i think it's going to come down to the wire, chris. i think it's kind of a crazy race, actually. there's still a lot of undecided people i talked to and a lot of accusations. big changes even today in the race as we go down to the wire. i think it's going to be a fascinating race. i think romney still has a solid footing here if you will. but santorum is nipping at his heels and gingrich is especially nipping at his heels, especially with perry's endorsement. >> let's take a look at something. you knew this was coming. here's marianne gingrich talking to abc about what happened with them with her and her then husband. let's look at the tape and then i'll get your response. >> you want me all to yourself. calista doesn't care what i do. >> what was he saying, do you think? >> he was asking to have an open marriage, and i refused. >> he wanted an open marriage? >> yeah, that i accept the fact that he has somebody else in his life. >> and you said? >> no.
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no. that is not a marriage. >> an unusual interview on any network. abc did it. do you think it's going to have an impact on saturday's voting? >> you know, i think it will have an impact for some people. i don't know how much of an impact because people for the most part already knew that fo know how much of an impact, because people already knew gingrich was on his third wife, but i think actually seeing one of his wives speak about him in an unflattering manner has to have an impact in some respect. calls to question his character on a personal side and as a voter, i encourage people to look at both sides, personal side, and you have to also look at where they stand ideologically and how much does their rhetoric match their reality, and in my mind, gingrich falls short on both sides. he wouldn't get my vote. >> who's left for you? >> i think there's four people
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in the race, three more i'm still looking at down to the wire. >> you haven't decided? >> i am going to watch the debate tonight very carefully. i'm on my way there in a minute with my youngest son, blake, and my second son, landon, and i'm going to watch the race very carefully. i think this race is long on rhetoric and sensation and short on substance. we have good candidates running, i think all could beat obama easily. i think the debate in our country is mostly surrounding the fiscal issues and i'm looking forward to what they have to say tonight. >> why do you think newt gingrich brings up issues like food stamps? i haven't heard this phrase in years, now talking about the best food stamp president in history. let's take a look at this tape from a newt gingrich event yesterday and i want your thoughts about race is a factor the way gingrich is talking in south carolina. let's take a listen. >> i would like to thank you,
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mr. speaker, for putting mr. ron williams in his place the other night. [ applause ] his supposed question was totally ludicrous, and we support you. >> thank you very much. >> why do you think mrs. sanford, the voters of south carolina, at least those there, were cheering this comment by this woman, regular woman, that ron williams of fox news should be put in his place? >> you know, i think that politicians can be known to pander to certain audiences or segments on certain issues, but so can pundits, and i think that the press likes to make issues sometimes about things where there are no issues. i mean, i for one live on the coast. my congressman is an african-american named tim scott, a republican i'm very proud, and my governor is an indian-american woman, of whom
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i'm also very proud, so those were both people elected by the electorate in south carolina, so the notion that we have a racial electorate in south carolina is absurd and nonsense and frankly just stirred up by people in the press, and i think people in general are sick of politics as usual and part of it is they are sick of the press stirring things up. they are right. >> who in the press do you know has brought up the issue of food stamps, has brought up the issue as rick perry said in the debate on monday that south carolina is at war with the federal government, as is texas. the press doesn't bring them up, the candidates do. >> oh, i think the press brings up all sorts of things. i think this race in particular is one long on rhetoric and short on substance. long on the sensational, if he will. so we have 24/7 news these days where we have just a proliferation of channels, each one seeking to find things that
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they can sensationalize. you can find all sorts of things you can sensationalize. >> last word, do you think there's any way his behavior and marriage will be reflected in his policies or behavior if he's elected president? >> i think anybody's behavior in their personal life does have to impact what they do in their professional life, because i think it comes down to the simple question of character. character matters. it matters in your family, it matters in your business and everything you do each day of your life. does that mean we can't overcome failings on one side, absolutely not. the american people are actually forgiving, but there has to be some notion, i think, has to be some notion there's a very, very strong stance on the other side for me to overcome that. >> mrs. sanford please come back on the show if you want to. strong voice out of south carolina. thanks for coming on tonight. when we return, let me finish with newt and mitt, gingrich is 1 for 3 in his marriage
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department, the marriage department. romney may be headed for 1 for 3 in the political arena. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. with your buddies? lost your appetite for romance? and your mood is on its way down. you might not just be getting older. you might have a treatable condition called low testosterone or low t. millions of men, forty-five or older, may have low t. so talk to your doctor about low t. hey, michael! [ male announcer ] and step out of the shadows. hi! how are you? [ male announcer ] learn more at [ laughs ] hey!
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let me finish tonight with this, couple things are happening in south carolina, both could be headlines the chickens have come home to roost. one is the house of cards mitt romney has built his inevidentibility. now built on the big victory he
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had in new hampshire, which was built on the foundation of him having won the victory in the iowa caucuses the week before. had he lost those caucuses, does anybody really think he'd gotten the big boost in new hampshire, had the big lead in south carolina he once had? turns out he didn't win in iowa. looks like santorum got the most votes in a count so messed up, whole precincts didn't get reported. suppose the chaos, this chaos, had been the headline the next morning in iowa instead of the headline being mitt romney turned out to be the winner. again, do you think mitt would have come rooting tooting into the new hampshire? here we are the thursday before the saturday they vote in south carolina, the state that likes to pick the nominee, do you think they are ready to rally around mitt? but wait, other chickens have come home to roost, the ones for newt gingrich. 1 for 3 in the political arena, we're getting 5 reminder newt is


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